There are actually three types of electric vehicles. The type most people associate with “EVs,” is called a “Battery Electric Vehicle” — or “BEV.” However, there are also “Hybrid Electric Vehicles” and “Plug-in Electric Vehicles,” which we’ll discuss below.
A Battery Electric Vehicle has no gasoline engine. All the car’s energy comes from the battery, which powers an electric motor. BEVs have zero emissions, and they’re very quiet. In fact, in most models, a sound is added to alert pedestrians. The “range” (or distance you can travel on a charge) varies between models and years, but most BEVs can get anywhere from 75 – 402 miles on a single charge.
For those who like living in both worlds, the second type of EV is called a “Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle” — or “PHEV.” PHEVs have both a gasoline engine and tank, and they also have a charging port to recharge an electric battery. For most Americans, the average daily commute is about 15 miles. A typical electric range of a PHEV is about 10-40 miles, which is perfect for
a commuter who can recharge at home or on the go. Once the electric range is depleted, the vehicle reverts to hybrid mode and relies on its gasoline engine.
For those not quite ready to take the “all-electric plunge,” there’s another type of EV called a “Hybrid Electric Vehicle” — or “HEV.” HEVs are powered by a traditional internal combustion gasoline engine (or ICE). In some HEVs, the ICE both recharges the electric battery and drives the transmission, while in others the ICE only recharges the battery (which drives the electric motor). In both cases, HEVs are gasoline-powered cars that emit much lower pollutants than a typical gasoline car.